The sino-atrial (SA node) is the body’s natural pacemaker and helps your heart maintain a normal rhythm. However, the SA node can malfunction leading to irregular heart rhythms, or arrhythmias. One cause of a malfunction may be an abnormally slow heart rhythm. Sometimes it is necessary to intervene to restore the heart to normal rhythm. This intervention requires a small pacemaker device to be implanted under the skin of the chest connected to a wire (electrode) attached to one or two of the heart chambers. The implanted pacemaker performs the same function as the SA node (the body’s natural pacemaker) by delivering regular electrical impulses and, thus, generating a normal heart rhythm.
Bon Secours Heart & Vascular Institute uses the latest advances in pacemaker technology, including single chamber and dual chamber pacemakers. Since each patient’s treatment plan is customized depending upon the underlying cause(s) of the heart arrhythmia, patients who have complex abnormal rhythms may require a combined implantable cardioverter defibrillator along with a pacemaker to treat their complex cardiac arrhythmias.